Writing is oftentimes described as a solitary endeavor. Putting together a book is definitely not. While we each put in our fair share of lonely hours copyediting manuscripts and staring at computer screens, we also had several people—family members, colleagues, mentors, friends, and editors—literally and figuratively by our side. Without their help and support, this collection of essays would never have been completed.
Thanks first and foremost to our wives, Lisa Eckley Cocchiarale and Angela Williamson Emmert, for their unflagging support during this long and exhausting (but immensely rewarding) experience. Lisa deserves special thanks for figuring out how to format the manuscript and for proofreading the final product.
Thanks to Widener University for a Faculty Development Grant that provided partial release time at the beginning of the process. Thanks as well to John Serembus, Associate Dean of Humanities, and Larry Panek, former Dean of Arts and Sciences, both of whom provided money to defray the cost of copyright permissions as well as to fund our many long distance phone conversations as we edited the essays. Mark Graybill, in addition to supplying us with a fine essay for this collection, read an early draft of our introduction and gave us excellent suggestions for revision.
The University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley Foundation generously provided funds for travel to academic conferences related to sports literature. In addition, April Kain-Breese, Chris Chamness, and Patricia Warmbrunn of the UW-Fox Valley library provided able and cheerful research assistance.
Bob Lamb and Joe Palmer of Purdue University were especially helpful at the early stages of the process, providing useful feedback and leads for possible contributors. We also wish to recognize the ways these sports and literature enthusiasts helped us immeasurably during our graduate school days. However much we look askance at Bob’s undying love for the Yankees and